On March 21, NAR played host to a gathering of representatives of government, REALTORS®, major lenders and e-signature service providers to discuss the slow and spotty acceptance of electronic signature technology in daily real estate business. The E-SIGN Act of 2000, a federal law, established the legal equivalency of electronic signatures in commerce. Many federal agencies have moved to implement policies that utilize e-signatures, notably FHA in 2010. Nevertheless experience in real estate transactions remains inconsistent and even non-existent in many areas.
The three hour meeting zeroed in on both the challenges to acceptance and the opportunities for facilitating transactions represented by the not-so-new-any-more technology. Leading the conversation for NAR were 2013 NAR Vice President Leslie Rouda Smith, 2013 NAR Executive Committee Member Elizabeth Mendenhall and 2013 Federal Technical Advisory Board Chair Michael Jewell. Participants agreed that much work needs to be done in educating all the sectors involved in order to move to general acceptance. The Summit marks the beginning of a process of consultation and collaboration among the sectors, a process NAR is committed to sustain.